today’s post is about having forbearance (Hilm). Forbearance, according to Merriam-Webster is “the quality of someone who is patient and able to deal with a difficult person or situation without becoming angry.” It is difficult to have patience generally, but it is more agonizing quite often when dealing with people who can’t get a move on, are rude, obnoxious and/or infuriating to swallow that anger and frustration that one feels and be patient. It is another step up to that challenge, to not just ignore such people but deal with them in a way that does not end in hating and killing each other.
It is however important to show patience in face of a difficult person or situation that raise ire, but also in situations where you are disappointed. It is of essence to deal with such a situation masterfully to not put yourself or another down. For you to not get depressed and sunk into a hole and for you to not unintentionally emotionally scar the other. This goes for every single situation that you find yourself in, you have to find ways to deal with people.
In the Muslim Community we have a problem with giving Advice. (Nasiha) It is important to give it, I would go as far as saying it is an obligation. As Allah (swt.) said in Surah Al-Asr:
“By time, Indeed mankind is in loss, Except for those who believe and do good deeds and urge one another to truth and urge one another to patience.“
However giving advise is constrained to time and etiquette (Adab). When giving Nasiha we have to find a time that is suitable to the one we are wanting to give advice to. We have to do it on their schedule not on ours, otherwise they won’t listen. Advice is also given with proper etiquette, it isn’t given in anger or self-righteousness. It is given because we care and not to satisfy our ego. We have an example in Luqman who gave advice to his son, pre-emptively addressing him with words of love.
We have to show patience when urging one another to the truth. Again realising that everyone is on a journey one may seem to be further ahead but be careful not to let another crash and burn with your harshness. We should be helping each other along and that can only be done when we care, with Adab and with patience. On the other hand we have to be patient with those that deal in being rude and harsh.
As the Prophet (saw.) said in a hadith related by Ibn Umar (ra.):
“The believer who mixes with people and bears their annoyance with patience will have a greater reward than the believer who does not mix with people and does not put up with their annoyance.”
[Sahih | Sunan Ibn Majah]
This doesn’t mean that one should get steam-rolled by people, if there is abuse in a relationship for example the authorities need to be called. That in itself is patience, patience does not mean to suffer in silence as the origin of the word from latin infers. Abuse is abuse, is abuse. At the very least an independent arbiter should be involved.
I’m iterating, Patience is not to suffer in silence, firstly realise that God is always with you and He is the most excellent Partner to have. Secondly, “there is strength in numbers”. We are an Ummah (a community) you are not alone. If it is the case that your local community left you alone then get authorities involved. Go to the “Kafir” and get help, no matter what your family says.
Finally, learn to forgive people, to let things slide it will help you and the people around you. Don’t be serious all the time, there is a place and time to be so. We realise the End is coming, but if the Prophet (saw.) still laughed and smiled, raced and joked, so can and should you. Islam came to make things easier, not for us to breathe down everyone’s neck to make sure they do everything, as we think they should. Yes Islam came with clear rules and guidelines but showing forbearance and Patience in advising can go a long way in helping to guide someone.
In the end Allah (swt.) is the One who guides and forgives may He forgive us abundantly on account of every discomfort, every illness, anxiety and grief, worry, prick of a thorn and any other pain that we may have experienced. May He make us people of patience. Amin
“Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].